Wedding photography is an incredible profession. It’s how we began as photographers, and as a result we learned a huge amount in a short timeframe, and met tons of fantastic people. While it’s not all sunshine and unicorns, there are many truly awesome things about being a wedding photographer. Here’s our Top 10 best things!
1. An Amazing Photographic Event
Straight up, weddings are amazing events to get to shoot. You will never get bored, since there is always something happening, and each one is different! Not only do they take place in beautiful locations, but they are also chock full of genuine emotion. You get to spend your day capturing happiness, laughter, joy, anticipation, excitement, and maybe even some sadness. It’s so jam packed with photographic opportunities your mind will spin.
2. Develop A Wide Range Of Photographic Skills
As a wedding photographer you’ll find yourself shooting in a wide range of styles. There’s a lot time spent in the photojournalistic mindset, then you switch to being a portrait photographer, directing and posing. You will shoot lots of details, putting on your still life/commercial cap. You may do some shots of the location or venues, drawing on landscape and architectural skills. Light-wise you’ll need to learn to shoot in sunlight, shade, rain, snow (if you’re lucky!!!), artificial light, and practically no light. You wind up becoming a very well-rounded shooter, able to adapt to ever-changing scenarios and lighting situations!
3. Learn To Work Under Pressure
When you take photos, you have to make a lot of decisions. When you take photos during a wedding day, you have to make those decisions very quickly, and with sustained attention. Sometimes you will have to be 100% focused for up to 14 hours straight. If you haven’t had to do that before, it may sound impossible. But as experienced wedding shooters can tell you, you’ll get used to it. Soon, you’ll become quite capable working under pressure. Quick decision making will become second nature, and you’ll learn to work, and shoot, with much more confidence.
4. Tell A Story
With a wedding you practically have a story built right in to your images. There are characters, scenes, action, emotion, and even themes if you look hard enough. Having a story in your images helps to tie them together, and create interest across the set. It also helps when you go to design albums!
5. Meet Amazing People
Wedding photography is a people profession, and you get to meet some pretty incredible ones. There are, of course, your clients, who often can become more friends than clients (or flients, as I like to call them). Not only do you get to meet them, but you also get time to establish really solid relationships with them, which makes it way more enjoyable to do your job.
And then there are tons more people you’ll get to meet. There’s the bridal party, who you spend a fair amount of time with, and guests at the wedding. You will create relationships with other vendors you work with, like florists, planners, decorators, etc. And you’ll get to connect with other local wedding photographers when doing your networking. They can be an amazing source of support, advice, and friendship!
6. Be Your Own Boss
Self-employment is no walk in the park, but it’s pretty darn enjoyable. You make the decisions. You set your hours. You decide whether pyjama day should be Mondays or Fridays (or both!). And if you work hard, and succeed, you get all the rewards. Extra bonus: you can work from home! Pretty soon you’ll completely forget what “rush hour traffic” is, and get super confused if you happen to venture out around 5PM.
7. Be Creative
Wedding photography rewards creativity. Doing something totally different will get your work noticed among the many other shooters doing the same old, same old. And since you’re in charge, you can do whatever inspires you. That sort of freedom is just what many creatives need to really let them explore and create something original.
8. Travel The World
Weddings happen all around the world, and brides are becoming more and more willing to hire someone out of town if they really connect with their work. Being a wedding photographer means that you could be trotting the globe while shooting amazing events! It certainly takes a lot of work to get your name out there enough to be hired for international gigs, but it’s completely possible, and many top shooters seem to be in a different country every weekend.
9. Photograph People On Their Most Beautiful Day
People spend countless hours preparing and planning for their wedding day, and a lot of that effort goes into ensuring that they will look their absolute most beautiful. That makes it pretty darn fun to photograph them! They are wearing fantastic outfits, their accessories are carefully chosen, their hair is perfect, and their makeup enhances their features. It’s like they are models for a day, but you still get all the fantastic real emotions. Win-win!
10. Create Valuable Work
Not many shooters can almost guarantee that the work they produce will be looked at in 50 years. Wedding photographers can. The albums that you produce for your clients become treasured family heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. Grandchildren love to look (and maybe giggle) at their grandparents in their wedding photos. That means that you get to impact people for a very long time.
This value is becoming more and more recognized, as wedding photography is evolving to focus more on capturing the feeling of a wedding day, and the real personality of the couple. As such, many brides now state that the photographer is the most important purchase. That’s pretty rad, isn’t it?
So those are our Top 10 best things about being a wedding photographer. But to make sure we’re giving a balanced look, up next we’ll reveal our 10 Most Difficult Things About Being A Wedding Photographer. Gasp! Stay tuned…
Did we miss some of the best things about being a wedding photographer? What’s your favourite thing? Share with us in the comments now!